Wild West FrogFest & Painted Pony Rodeo headliner Rodney Atkins has been busy working on a new album.  His latest "Take A Back Road" is the first song off the CD that he expects to have out sometime late summer.  He says the songs popularity has grown faster than anyone anticipated, which is a good thing, but now he's working hard to get the rest of the tracks cut for the album and get it out to his fans.  So, will he sing the new one at FrogFest?  Rodney's reply, "you better know it."

Atkins Talks New Music
If you're planning on attending FrogFest Saturday at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, you'll be the first to hear some of the new stuff he's been working on too.  Rodney says he and his band have "played around and practiced the songs" but they haven't performed any of them live yet.  That is until Saturday. Rodney feels on stage is "the real world and the best place to try new songs."  Oh, he'll play the crowd favorites too like "Farmer's Daughter" and "These Are My People," but he says "it's always fun to sing new songs."  So we're in for a rare treat.

Rodney admits to feeding off the crowd every night when he's on stage.  He says "there is nothing like it.  To hear folks sing back these are my people/this is where I come from" is such a thrill.  Maybe we'll be so loud we'll drown him out but he says "that's the best thing to do."

And what a show it will be.  Rodney tell us "we've spent time working on the show, as far as production, lighting, all that good stuff."  He promises "it's going to be a great, great night, can't wait, it's going to be a blast."  And Mother Nature looks like she'll be shining on us, for a change.

Atkins Confesses to Embarrassing Song on iPhone
Country isn't the only kind of music Rodney likes listening too.  When I asked what the most embarrassing song on his iPhone, he hesitated then reaclled cranking up some rock n roll in the truck once and his daughter asking "who is that daddy? Well that's a group called Styx."  A band she thought was "cool."  Rodney just "likes what he digs and digs what he likes."  He feels there are only two kinds of music, "good music and bad music."   Rodney even sang a few bars of Styx's "Renegade".  So does Rodney ever do cover songs in concert or just his own stuff?   He says he's "been known to randomly place a song in there from time to time to keep people on their toes.  It's about entertaining, about having fun, it's about just putting it all out there."

Atkins Gives Back
Rodney not only has a big voice, he has a big heart too.   He just took part in Bama Rising, the benefit Alabama put on to raise money for their home state devasted by the April storms.  There was also a concert to kick off CMA Fest in Nashville for the American Red Cross he was involved in.  He says "it's been great to see the way the communities in this country have come together to help each other out. You hate to see bad things happen but it is good to see when bad things do happen that people don't turn their backs.  Bad things tend to bring out the best in folks."  Just one reason it's great to be an American and what his song "If You're Going Through Hell" represents.  Just keep goin

Listen to Rodney Atkins interview

Get FrogFest Tickets to See Atkins
If you haven't purchased your tickets to FrogFest yet, you can get them at Price Chopper or at the fairgrounds.  Tickets will also be available the day of the show, but you may have to wait in line.  And not only will you enjoy a rodeo, local entertainment from Tim Creaser and Custom Taylor Band, music from Jeff Bates, but you'll also be the first to hear the new stuff, from Rodney Atkins.  The only downside will be you'll have to wait to hear them again until the CD comes out. You can download the new song "Take a Back Road" at iTunes or at RodneyAtkins.com

Frog Fest and Rodeo:  Saturday June 18, 12pm at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, 135 Cemetery Road, Frankfort.  Tickets $18, purchase at the gate, any area Price Chopper, at the Townsquare Media studios at 9418 River Road in Marcy and online here.